NPR logo 'Tranformers' Sets New Box-Office Record

'Tranformers' Sets New Box-Office Record

Sold-out early Wednesday a.m. screenings for "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" are displayed at Universal Citywalk AMC Cinemas in Los Angeles, Tuesday night, June 23, 2009. AP Photo/Chris Pizzello hide caption

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AP Photo/Chris Pizzello

Hollywood has been doing well during the current Great Recession, somewhat reminiscent of its success during the Great Depression, another period when Americans craved escapist entertainment.

That may help explain the phenomenal Wednesday opening of "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen." The sequel reaped $60.6 million in its first day.

According to the Associated Press:

The previous best Wednesday opening was $44.2 million for "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" in 2007.

The "Transformers" sequel also came in with the second-biggest single-day revenues, behind only "The Dark Knight," with $67.2 million. "The Dark Knight" opened on a Friday.

In case you missed it, you really ought to read Manohla Dargis' New York Times review of the movie earlier this week.

I just didn't expect to see film critic terms like "autuer" and "mise en scene" in what I think is basically a special effects-laden fantasy film for teenaged boys. They apparently liked it a lot based on the opening day receipts.

You might also want to check out Nathan Lee's review of the film for NPR. His take in a thumbnail: looks great, less filling.